Dual Language Learners and Critical Thinking Strategies

The United States has a large population of children who are learning two languages, sometimes known as dual language learners (DLLs). The use of this term indicates that English is not the only language a young child is learning; rather, it is assumed that a child is emerging bilingually. However, school districts often use the term English language learners (ELLs) and the federal government also uses limited English proficient students (LEPs) as a descriptor for children enrolled in elementary or secondary education from 3 to 21 years of age who speak a home language other than English and have yet to sufficiently master English in order to meet standards and excel. The term emergent bilinguals honors the complexity of children’s language development and recognizes that ...

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